From rubble to renewal: Riverview Animal Hospital comes to the rescue

A family in Durango, CO family was enjoying an evening at home when their house exploded from a gas leak. Their 9 year old daughter, Cameron Kelley, drug herself out of the rubble while suffering from a fractured leg. Her mother and father, Tim and Karen Kelley, were uncovered about 4 hours later from under 4 to 6 feet of debris. Both Tim and Karen suffered severe injuries and were transported by helicopter for emergency treatment.

No one thought about the family pets until the next day. The family’s friends organized a team to look for Rocko, a chocolate lab, and Tippi, the family cat. After being trapped for more than 16 hours, Rocko was discovered and pulled to safety, although in serious condition. He was rushed to Riverview Animal Hospital where Dr. Randy Hays and his staff treated him for burns, ocular trauma, heart issues and liver trauma, during his 5 day stay in the hospital.

The hospital received numerous phone calls from people across the country wanting updates on Rocko and wondering how they could donate to his medical expenses. Rocko has since made a full recovery but did lose vision in one of his eyes. One of the bigger surprises was finding Tippi, the cat, 17 days after the explosion. He had lost nearly half his body weight and had some minor liver inflammation. His hair was burned so badly and embedded with insulation that the staff had to shave him, so his primary doctor, Dr. Stacee Santi, crocheted him a sweater to keep

Thanks to the incredible care and compassion from the staff at Riverview Animal Hospital, Tippi has also fully recovered and has joined the rest of the family at their temporary home in Durango as they focus on healing and savoring every moment they have together.